Having mail delivery problems in the South Bay? You’re not alone
South Bay Rep. Ted Lieu says the U.S. Postal Service has a “systemic” issue with mail delivery problems in parts of western Los Angeles County that repeatedly requires his district staff to assist frustrated constituents.
Lieu, D-Manhattan Beach, said that while the USPS resolves issues that include misdirected or nondelivered mail in 97 percent of the cases, complaints persist with no end in sight to the “spotty” delivery.
“We continue to get more and more cases and they look like a systemic issue in western Los Angeles County,” Lieu told Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan at a recent hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
“We get complaints from Santa Monica and Redondo Beach,” Lieu added. “There needs to be a systemic fix.”
Lieu told Brennan his district staff have had to meet local postal officials on “numerous occasions” to discuss inadequate mail delivery and he wanted to see a commitment from the USPS to fix the chronic issues.
Lieu noted that Beverly Hills has suffered particularly severe problems with mail delivery. The local newspaper has experienced the problems first-hand, sometimes going several days without receiving mail at its office, it reported last year.
Brennan promised to follow-up and noted that the USPS has made adjustments to staffing and transportation in Beverly Hills in response to complaints.
The Daily Breeze also periodically receives anecdotal reports of mail delivery problems from local residents.
Indeed, Lieu posted a video of the hearing on his Facebook page and, judging by the comments left in response, appears to have struck a nerve.
Torrance resident Rick Beaver said he was “disgusted” by the lack of response to continual delivery problems from “uncaring” local USPS officials.
“I live in a condo building with over 100 units and the residents of our building constantly have to take mail to other units in the building because we constantly have misdirected mail in our mailboxes,” he wrote.
“In some instances, I and others have noticed mail delivered to our building that is for an entirely different address in Torrance. In the past I have been on trips which last 3 to 4 weeks and have had my mail temporarily forwarded. In many cases, it does not happen and when I come home I find mail sitting in my mailbox since I left and then I end up being late on payments.”
Tony Kayden, who receives mail via the Redondo Beach office, said Lieu’s staff has repeatedly had to intervene to clear up “numerous” mail delivery issues.
“We had mail delivered to the wrong address left out in the rain over Christmas,” he wrote. “I had packages of mine delivered to the wrong address and when I went to speak to the supervisor at the P.O., they suggested I go to that person’s home and asked if they kept my mail.
“It’s unbelievable how inept the supervisors were and how frustrating it was to deal with them,” he added. “Even a simple thing like asking your mail to be forwarded to your new address couldn’t be facilitated.”
Lieu added during the hearing that mail theft also appears to be an increasing problem.
Richard Maher, a USPS spokesman based in Southern California, said last week that mail delivery issues are “relatively isolated.”
The main cause: high employee turnover and the departure of veteran workers.
“We do have areas where we have a higher percentage of new employees or inexperienced employees maybe making mistakes,” he said, adding that the postal service is working on the staffing and training issues.
However, about 90 percent of the staff in Torrance, for example, are veteran Postal Service staffers and “few” service issues have been reported, Maher said.
Mail theft should be reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, a federal law enforcement agency, at 877-876-2455, he said.
Service issues, like misdelivery of mail, should be reported to the local post office or USPS Customer Care Center at 800-ASK-USPS.
If the problems persist or remain unresolved, constituents can call Lieu’s district office at 323-651-1040 for assistance.